SoundCloud, MixCloud, ToneDen. If you’ve taken a gander at any one of these platforms, you would have noticed that the electronic music pool is just overflowing with an abundance of creators and creations. In a scene that is crowded with DIY producers and artists, it’s quite easy to blend in as simply another bedroom producer. The hard part is finding a distinction.
It may be biased to say but Australia honestly has some of the most influential producers in the global electronic scene. From the likes of Ta-Ku and Flume, to other talents such as Sable and Feki, our Land-Girt-By-Sea seems to be the incubator for distinctive sounds and standout artists. Lower Spectrum is another name that certainly deserves to be at the top of that list.
Producer, composer and fearless experimentalist, Lower Spectrum is a fresh pick from the next crop of monolithic Aussie producers.
All of this began as an obsession for collecting records and inheriting his parents’ record collection, but Ned Beckley (a.k.a. Lower Spectrum) has now fully transitioned from being an avid record collector to a full blown creator (an excellent one, I might add). Picking apart different samples and putting them together in completely different manners, Beckley is fearless when it comes to experimentation and expresses himself most eloquently through music. The final product always feels genuine and sometimes larger than life.
Thoughtful and emotional, his music is filled with immersive melodies which concentrate on minimalism with absorbing aesthetics. The kind of music that you want to drown your headphones with.
After releasing his stunning EP Traces in 2014, Beckley has been continuously weaving his ingredients of discarded vinyl samples, analog synth textures, and splintering drums around Australia with sets at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Brisbane’s BIGSOUND, and Melbourne Music Week. Aside from that, he’s also found time to support international composers such as Jon Hopkins, Pantha Du Prince, Andy Stott, Flako, Onra and Nightmares On Wax. A multi-talented producer, Beckley has also curated a soundtrack and edited a number documentaries and shorts, while having also scored music for The Australian Ballet.
Despite having a full workload of diverse music related projects, Lower Spectrum has still managed to squeeze in time to craft a number of striking releases, some of which could be heard on his forthcoming EP, New Haze. So far we’ve been given two samplers by Beckley from his upcoming release. The first comes in the form of Proxima, which is accompanied by a stunning video clip to give you the proper audio-visual experience. Heralded by dark illusive signals, Proxima is comprised of waves of pulsating drum beats, clicks and claps, and euphoric reverbed vocals that are eerie yet fun, controlled yet erratic. The mix of all these elements gives you a gothic industrial club banger that sends tingles down your spine but also makes you want to head bang like crazy.
Its successor Masquerade is another spectacular club concoction that is based on deep gospel vibes and swinging 808’s. A labyrinth of sounds, the track compacts an intricate and expressive arrangement of synths, quick paced drum beats, and echoing vocal samples that casually chime in during the progression of the song. Quirky, soulful, and wildly inventive, this is a tune that deserves to be on loop for several times.
In terms of visuals, Beckley has also noted the importance of this element to his music. He believes that the audio and visual components should reflect one another. With this forthcoming EP, Beckley got to work with his good friend Scottie Cameron in L.A, who makes incredible surreal still – life images and photographic essays. Without giving too much away until it’s out, he said that, “a lot of the themes revolving around the artwork to the EP were related to the construction of the music recycling discarded sounds, building something from nothing, regrowth, encapturement, and semblance.”
It’s an exciting and very busy time for this multi-faceted producer, but as we patiently await the release of his highly anticipated EP, New Haze, we can also expect to see him on tour with LUCIANBLOMKAMP in late April. According to Beckly, “This is going to be a special one, where you can expect a bit of the unexpected, new, unreleased cuts, melting visuals, and late night antics.”
For now, dig out your headphones because you would want to enjoy this at maximum pleasure.